Green River Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do and see in Green River, Utah with our comprehensive travel guide. From outdoor adventures to cultural attractions, we've got you covered.

Green River, Utah is a small town located in Northeastern Utah. Nestled in the heart of Canyonlands National Park, Green River is a hidden gem that’s worth a visit. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, or just relaxing in a beautiful setting, Green River has plenty to offer. In this comprehensive travel guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the best things to do and see in Green River, as well as provide valuable tips for your trip.

Introduction to Green River

Green River is a small town with a big personality. Located in Utah’s Canyonlands region, it’s known for its stunning scenery and outdoor adventures. The town was originally settled in the 1800s by Mormon pioneers, and has a rich history that’s worth exploring. Today, Green River is a popular destination for travelers looking to get off the beaten path and experience a different side of Utah.

List of Places to Visit in Green River

If you’re planning a trip to Green River, here’s a list of must-visit places:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • John Wesley Powell River History Museum: Learn about the history of the Green River and the exploration of the American West.
  • Hastings Sand Dunes: Explore the ancient sand dune formations and see what life was like for early settlers in Green River.
  • Book Cliffs: Discover the unique geology of the area and learn about its impact on the region’s natural resources.

Natural Attractions of Green River: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • White Rim Trail: This popular day hike offers stunning views of the Green River and surrounding landscape.
  • Crystal Geyser: Witness the natural geyser that’s been erupting for over 70 years.
  • Little Wild Horse Canyon: This narrow canyon is perfect for a family-friendly hike.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Green River

Green River is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with lots of hiking and biking trails to choose from. Here are some of the most popular routes:

  • The Maze: This backcountry trail is a must-do for experienced hikers who want to explore the remote corners of Canyonlands National Park.
  • The Needles: This moderate hike takes you through some of the park’s most scenic landscapes, including iconic red rock formations and towering canyons.
  • Island in the Sky: This 2.5-mile trail offers stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape, and is perfect for hikers of all levels.

Best Things to Do in Green River: Activities and Tours

In addition to hiking and biking, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in Green River. Here are some of our favorites:

  • River rafting: Take a guided tour down the Green River and experience the thrill of white-water rapids.
  • Rock climbing: The towering sandstone cliffs of Green River offer some of the best rock climbing in the region.
  • Stargazing: With little light pollution in the area, Green River is the perfect place to enjoy the night sky.

Week-Long Itinerary for Green River

If you’re planning a longer stay in Green River, here’s a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your time:

Day Activity
1 Explore downtown Green River, including the John Wesley Powell River History Museum
2 Hike the Little Wild Horse Canyon trail
3 Take a guided river rafting tour down the Green River
4 Visit Crystal Geyser and the Hastings Sand Dunes
5 Take a day trip to Canyonlands National Park and hike the Needles Trail
6 Go rock climbing in the surrounding area
7 Relax and enjoy the beauty of Green River before departing

Food and Drink Scene of Green River

Green River may be a small town, but it has some great dining options. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Navajo Tacos: This local specialty features fry bread topped with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
  • Cowboy Coffee: Brewed over an open flame, this coffee is a favorite of local ranchers and cowboys.
  • Green River Melon: This sweet melon is grown locally and is a favorite of chefs throughout Utah.

Local Beverages

  • Polygamy Porter: This popular beer is brewed in nearby Salt Lake City and is a nod to Utah’s history with polygamy.
  • Moab Brewery Dead Horse Ale: Brewed in nearby Moab, this ale is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
  • Utah-made wines: Utah is home to a growing wine industry, and there are several wineries near Green River that offer tastings.

Where to Stay in Green River: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Green River has several lodging options to choose from, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Here are some of our recommendations:

  • River Terrace Inn: This hotel offers stunning views of the Green River and is located in downtown Green River.
  • Green River KOA: For a more budget-friendly option, try the Green River KOA, which offers tent and RV camping, as well as basic cabins.
  • Robbers Roost Motel: This classic motel is located on the scenic Highway 70 and offers easy access to all the outdoor adventure Green River has to offer.

What to Buy in Green River: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you’re looking for a unique souvenir or gift to take home, Green River has plenty of options. Here are some of the best:

  • Pottery: The area around Green River has a rich history of Native American pottery, and you’ll find several shops selling beautiful pieces.
  • Green River Melons: As mentioned earlier, these sweet melons are a local specialty and make a great gift.
  • Cowboy boots: Green River is located in cowboy country, so why not pick up a pair of boots to remember your trip?

Local Culture and Customs of Green River

Utah is known for its unique culture, and Green River is no exception. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Respect local customs: Many residents of Green River are members of the Mormon church, so be respectful of their beliefs and customs.
  • Spend time outdoors: The natural beauty of Green River is a big part of its culture, so be sure to spend time exploring the area’s many hiking trails and outdoor attractions.
  • Obedience to laws: Laws in Green River and surrounding areas may differ from other parts of the United States, so be sure to research any relevant laws prior to your trip.

Best Time to Visit Green River

The best time to visit Green River is in the spring and fall, when temperatures are mild and the weather is dry. Summers can be hot, with temperatures well into the 90s, and winters can be cold and snowy. Spring and fall offer the perfect combination of comfortable temperatures and sunny skies.

Do’s and Don’ts of Green River

Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during your visit:


  • Plan ahead: Green River is remote, so be sure to plan your trip well in advance and come prepared for the weather and outdoor activities you plan to enjoy.
  • Explore the outdoors: Green River is known for its outdoor adventures, so be sure to take advantage of all the hiking, biking, and kayaking opportunities available.
  • Experience local culture: From Native American pottery to cowboy boots, Green River has a unique culture worth exploring.


  • Leave valuables in your car: Car break-ins are rare in Green River, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  • Ignore local customs: Be respectful of the beliefs and customs of the people who live in Green River and the surrounding areas.
  • Overlook the local food and drink: Green River has some great local specialties, so be sure to try them all!

Safety and Health

Green River is generally a safe place to visit, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

Safety in Green River

  • Be careful when driving: Roads in Green River and the surrounding area can be remote and winding, so be sure to use caution when driving.
  • Hike with a buddy: Always hike with a buddy, and let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return.
  • Keep an eye on the weather: Utah weather can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the forecast before heading out on any outdoor activities.

Health in Green River

  • Stay hydrated: Utah’s desert climate can be dehydrating, so be sure to drink plenty of water.
  • Wear sunscreen: Sun protection is essential when spending time outdoors, so be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin.
  • Watch for altitude sickness: Green River is located at a relatively high altitude, so be sure to watch for symptoms of altitude sickness if you’re not used to high elevations.

Getting to Green River: Transportation Options and Logistics

Green River is somewhat remote, but there are several transportation options available. Here are some of the best:

Airports Near Green River

  • Salt Lake City International Airport: This is the closest major airport to Green River, located about 180 miles away.
  • Grand Junction Regional Airport: This airport is located in neighboring Colorado, about 110 miles from Green River.

Bus Stations Near Green River

  • Green River Greyhound Station: This station offers service to destinations across Utah and the United States.

Other Options

  • Drive: Green River is easily accessible by car, and is located near two major highways: I-70 and Highway 191.
  • Take a tour: Several tour companies offer trips to Green River and the surrounding area, including guided river rafting tours and backcountry hiking trips.

How to Get Around in Green River

Once you’re in Green River, the best way to get around is by car. While there are some public transportation options available, they can be limited. If you’re planning on doing any hiking or outdoor activities, having your own vehicle will give you the flexibility to explore the area at your own pace.

Where to Go Next from Green River: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking to continue your Utah adventure after visiting Green River, here are some nearby destinations worth checking out:

  • Moab: This nearby town is known for its outdoor adventures and stunning scenery, including Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park: While a bit further away, Bryce Canyon is one of the most iconic national parks in the region and is definitely worth a visit.
  • Salt Lake City: Utah’s capital city is located just a few hours from Green River and offers plenty of cultural attractions, shopping, and dining options.


Green River, Utah is a hidden gem that shouldn’t be missed. From its stunning natural beauty to its unique culture and history, there’s something for everyone in this small town. We hope this comprehensive travel guide has given you all the information you need to plan an unforgettable trip to Green River. Safe travels!